Under Armour Senior Bowl to Feature All-Big 12 Backfield

Mobile, AL. (Jan. 11)—The North backfield in this month’s Under Armour Senior Bowl will feature four 1,000-yard rushers from the Big 12.Oklahoma State’s Kendall Hunter, Kansas State’s Daniel Thomas, Oklahoma’s DeMarco Murray and Nebraska’s Roy Helu Jr. have all officially accepted invitations to the 2011 senior showcase event, officials announced today.The Under Armour Senior Bowl is scheduled for 3pm (CT) on January 29th in Mobile’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium.The game will be televised by NFL Network.

“This backfield is absolutely loaded,” Senior Bowl President and CEO Steve Hale said.“To have four 1,000-yard rushers on one roster is impressive enough, but the fact that all four came from the same conference speaks highly of the type of talent the Big 12 boasted this year.”

Hunter was a first team All-America (Walter Camp, AFCA, AP) and Big 12 selection this season after rushing for 1,548 yards and 16 touchdowns.He totaled nine 100-yard rushing games his senior year, including a 257-yard outburst in the Cowboys’ season opener against Washington State and a 201-yard effort against Nebraska.

“I’m very thankful for the opportunity,” Hunter said of receiving a Senior Bowl invite.“I just want to show the scouts how much I love the game, how much I love to compete and how I like to have fun.”

The Tyler, Texas native leaves Oklahoma State as the fourth leading rusher in school history with 4,181 yards and fourth in rushing touchdowns with 37.He had 20 100-yard games over the course of his career, which puts him third on OSU’s all-time list.

Thomas, a first team All-Big 12 selection by the Associated Press, led the entire Big 12 in rushing his senior season with 1,585 yards.He also added a league-best 19 rushing touchdowns and finished eighth in the country in rushing yards per game (121.92).Thomas recorded the third highest rushing output in a single game when he went for 269 yards and two touchdowns against North Texas.

The Hilliard, Florida native wrapped up his career with 2,850 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns.His rushing total puts him second behind Darren Sproles on Kansas State’s all-time list and he ranks fifth in school history with 3,303 all-purpose yards.

Murray enjoyed a record-breaking senior season for the Sooners en route to becoming a first team All-Big 12 selection by the AP and Coaches.He finished the year with 1,214 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns.He also proved to be a threat out of the backfield, catching 69 passes for 595 yards and five more scores.The three-year starter totaled five 100-yard rushing games and three 100-yard receiving games this year, including a career-high 208 rushing yard effort against Utah State.

The Las Vegas, Nevada native leaves Oklahoma as the school’s all-time leader in all-purpose yards (6,718), touchdowns (65), points (390) and receiving yards by a running back (1,571).He finished his career with 3,685 rushing yards—good enough for sixth on the Sooners’ all-time list.

Helu Jr. became the first Nebraska running back to surpass 1,000 rushing yards in back-to-back seasons since Calvin Jones in 1992 and 1993.He followed his junior season (1,147 yards, 10 TDs) with a solid 2010 campaign that included 1,245 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns.The second team All-Big 12 selection re-wrote the Cornhuskers’ record books with a school-best 307 rushing yard effort against Missouri this season, scoring all three of his touchdowns against the Tigers from 50-yards or more.He had the second best rushing output by a senior in school history this year and 11th best overall.

The Danville, California native finished his Nebraska career ranked fourth on the school’s all-time rushing list with 3,404 yards.He has 28 career rushing touchdowns and is one of only 17 players in school history with at least 25 career rushing touchdowns.

Tickets for the 2011 Under Armour Senior Bowl are currently available for purchase at the Senior Bowl ticket office (151 Dauphin Street), the Bel Air Mall customer service desk, all area Food For Less locations, select Regions Bank locations, online at www.seniorbowl.com or by calling (251) 432-4109.

Updated 01-12-2011

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